Vedanta says TN govt's decision to shut Tuticorin copper plant 'unfortunate'; to study closure order
The closure of Vedanta's copper plant caps sustained protests and campaign for the last several years by the local people against copper factory over environmental pollution concerns.
New Delhi: Vedanta Ltd on Monday termed as "unfortunate" the Tamil Nadu government's order to close down the Sterlite copper plant at Tuticorin and said it would decide the future course of action after studying the development.
This follows Tamil Nadu government ordering the state Pollution Control Board to seal and "permanently" close the Vedanta group's copper plant in Tuticorin following last week's violent protests over pollution concerns during which 13 people were killed in police firing.
"Closure of Sterlite Copper plant is an unfortunate development, especially since, we have operated the plant for over 22 years in most transparent and sustainable way, contributing to the Tuticorin and state's socio-economic development. We will study the development and decide on the future course of action," Vedanta Ltd said in a statement.
The government's decision came a day ahead of the start of the state Assembly session where it is likely to come under intense Opposition fire over the Tuticorin incidents.
"Now the plant is permanently closed. The Government Order (GO) has been implemented," Tuticorin District Collector Sandeep Nanduri said.
The closure of the copper plant caps sustained protests and campaign for the last several years by the local people against copper factory over environmental pollution concerns.
The GO said it endorsed the recent closure direction of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, and also asked the TNPCB to "seal the unit and close the plant permanently".
Chief Minister K Palaniswami said the government has issued the GO in deference to the sentiments of the people.
The locals were protesting for the closure of the factory for 99 days. Protesters turned violent on May 22, the 100th day of their stir, and 13 people were killed in police action against them last Tuesday and Wednesday.
Asked what he had to say to the people of Tuticorin, the chief minister said, "Peace has returned to the town and it must continue, and people should cooperate with the government. Their demand has been fulfilled by Amma's government."
Palaniswami said people of Tuticorin were seeking permanent closure of the plant since it did not meet the environment related conditions of the National Green Tribunal and the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board.
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